Introduction Participants on the Health Service Executive (HSE) Leadership Development Programme were invited to join the HSE Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit (WHWU) Standards Project Group. The aim was to assist in the development of a framework for the standardisation of Occupational Health (OH) service standards for the Irish public health service.
Methods The WHWU followed a practice development approach using collaboration, engagement and a bottom up and top down approach. The Standards Project Group commenced with a review of existing international OH standards. The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare were identified as the most suitable model to base these standards. A workshop was held with HIQA to discuss the best approach to developing the standards.
Membership of the group included representatives from Health and Safety, Staff Health and Wellbeing and OH services nationwide. The objectives of the group were to develop:
OH specific themes within the framework
Guides for managers and workers
Quality Assessment and Improvement Workbooks (Self–Assessment)
Adhering to the HIQA Quality Assurance Framework (2016), the group was supported by an Expert Advisory Group made up of key internal and external stakeholders.
Interprofessional, intersectoral, integrated working –A project group representing a wide range of OH professionals and professionals from the wider Workplace Health and Wellbeing community was paramount to ensure shared experiences and learning.
Use of Available Resources – International OH standards, HIQA Quality Assurance Framework, HIQA National Standards for Safer Better Healthcare, HSE Quality Assessment+Improvement workbooks, HR service user panel.
Key Leadership Traits – Adaptability and flexibility were essential for open, effective feedback and strategy change.
Collaboration of leadership styles and participation of high interest, high powered stakeholders was needed to ensure project success.
Conclusion The OH standards for the Irish public health service were launched at the Workplace Health and Wellbeing Unit Inaugural Conference on the 19th May 2017.
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